Creating Character Classes

I seem to recall Alex or another of the designers mentioning that there was an explicit system used to create the classes in ACKS, and that said system would be released at some point, allowing people to create their own campaign-specific classes. Am I imagining things, or was that actually stated? If so, when might we see it released? As much as I admire the Auran Empire setting, I’d much rather run my own, and there are several classes I’d need to create from scratch if I was going to do so with ACKS.
A quickie PDF or the like would be nice to tide us over, even if it’s something that’s slated to be published in some future supplement.

Yes, it will definitely be released. It’s mostly done but there are some elements that I need to polish up to ensure it all works smoothly.
If you need something fast-and-dirty in the meantime use this system:
Our system was inspired by this approach. To use it with ACKS, do the following:

  1. You get proficiencies based on whatever class you save as
  2. You get strongholds based on whatever class you save as
  3. You can trade a thief skill for a class proficiency
  4. You can trade down 1 point of AC (e.g. plate to banded) to get a class proficiency
    That will output classes that are 95% compatible with ACKS.

Ah yes, I’m well acquainted with that article at the Vaults. Thanks for the tip.

That has always been my favorite article from OD&Dities.

One of my players put together a pretty comprehensive ACKS class creation guide… It’s not “official” but it pretty much recreates the classes to their XP values to very close.
It doesn’t use the things Alex listed above either, so it’s probably slightly off, but could be used as a basic guide until official stuff comes out.
Here’s what he posted:
See below for my draft proposed class creation formula. If you use this formula to design any of the classes from the book, you should find that the xp cost using the formula is slightly higher. For example, a by-the-book fighter designed with the formula would need 2,100xp for second level. A by-the-book cleric would need 1,750xp for second level. I did that on purpose to protect the niches of the published classes.
STEP 1: Number of Prime Requisites
….+100xp for only one prime requisite
STEP 2: Requirements
…Elves must have minimum 9 INT. Dwarves must have minimum 9 CON. Other demi-human races must have a minimum score.
STEP 3: Hit Dice
…d4 hit dice = no charge.
…d6 hit dice = +300xp
…d8 hit dice = +600xp
STEP 4: Maximum Level.
…All human classes have max level 14. +100xp
…Demi-human classes with max level 13: no charge.
…Demi-human classes with max level 12: -50xp.
…Demi-human classes with max level 11: -100xp.
…Demi human classes with max level 10: -200xp.
STEP 5: Melee Weapons
…All melee weapons: +200xp (not available to short races)
…Only piercing and slashing: +150xp (not available to short races)
…No two-handed weapons: +150xp
…Dwarven weapons only: +100
…One-handed only: +100xp
…Blunt only: +50xp
…d4 weapons only: no charge.
STEP 6: Missile Weapons
…All missile weapons: +100xp (not available to short races)
…No longbows: +75xp
…Only daggers and darts: +25xp
…Only slings: +25xp
…None allowed: No charge.
STEP 7: Armor
…All armor allowed: +150xp
…Only chain or less: +100xp
…Only leather or less: +50xp
STEP 8: Shields
…Allowed: +100xp
STEP 9: Dual-wielding
…Allowed: +100xp
STEP 10: Advancement Rate and Saving Throw Table
…+2 per 3 levels (as fighter): +450xp
…+2 per 4 levels (as cleric or thief): +250xp
…+2 per 6 levels (as mage): +50xp
STEP 11: Spellcasting
…As mage: +2200xp
…Half-rate mage: +1000xp
…As cleric: +300xp
…As cleric -2 levels: +200xp
…Research spells at 5th level: +50xp
…Create magic items at 9th level: +50xp
…Cast spells of great power at 11th level: +50xp
STEP 12: Fortress
…Specify type of fortress: castle, sanctum, fortified church, hideout, hall, or border fort. Dwarves have vaults. Elves have fastnesses.
…If followers are fanatics (as bladedancer): +50xp
STEP 13: Class/race abilities
…Each bonus proficiency at first level: +150xp (max of three)
…Damage bonus as fighter: +100xp
…Battlefield prowess at 5th level: +50xp
…Turning Undead: +100xp
…Backstabbing: +100xp
…Open Locks: +50xp
…Find Traps: +100xp
…Remove traps: +50xp
…Pick pockets: +50xp
…Move silently: +50xp
…Climb walls: +100xp
…Hide in Shadows: +50xp
…Hear noise: +100xp
…Inspire courage: +200xp
…Read languages at 4th level: +100xp
…+1 bonus to AC and initiative when can move freely (as bladedancer) +200xp
…+1 accuracy bonus with missile weapons: +150xp for all, +100 for thrown only
…animal reflex bonus to init and surprise outdoors: +100xp
…difficult to spot outdoors (roll 3+): 100xp
…difficult to spot underground (14+): 100xp
…+4 bonus to avoid getting lost outdoors: +50xp
…+5 bonus to evade wilderness encounters: +50xp
…+3 bonus on all proficiencies (as craftpriest): +400xp.
…Warhorse as paladin: +200xp
…DWARVES- Sensitivity to rock and stone: +200xp for 11+ roll, +300xp for 11+ roll.
…DWARVES- Hearty people +3 bonus to P&P saves, +4 to all others: +300xp
…ELVES- Keen eyes, spot secret doors on 8+, 14+ casually: +200xp
…ELVES- Connection to nature, +1 vs P&P saves, immune to ghouls: +100xp
…ELVES- Immune to aging after reaching adulthood: +100xp
STEP 14: Proficiency List: Each class has a list of up to 30 proficiencies. Each type of combat trickery counts as a separate proficiency. Access to some proficiencies adds to the xp cost of the class as follows
…Berzerkergang: +50xp
…Familiar: +50xp
…Sensing evil: +50xp
…Weapon finesse: +100xp if DEX is a prime stat and STR is not.
…Wakefulness: +50xp if the class can cast spells.
STEP 15: Special Restrictions.
…Strict code of honor or lose abilities: -100xp
…Must tithe 10%: -100xp
…Limit on magic items owned: -50xp
STEP 16: Tally all xp costs. The total is the number of xp required to reach second level. Double the xp cost for third level, and continue doubling for each level up to 9th level. Add the amount for 9th level to each following level.

Both of the methods suggested look interesting. For Scott Ludwigs method, what does ‘Monster’ combat ability mean, compared to ‘Fighter’?

The character uses the monster to-hit chart which means that they get better at every level.

I thought that Fighters did that anyway in Basic? Gosh my assumed knowledge is so wrong.
Anyway, I redownloaded the ACKs rules (I’m at work) and now it all makes sense :slight_smile:

Hey Michael, that’s a really interesting system. Do these XP costs work out to those in ACKS?

Alex, for the most part, yes. I tested it on the Assassin and it came up exactly 1700 XP. However, I think he tried to make it so that the new classes would be slightly higher than the core classes in order to not make them obsolete.
We were looking into using some of the old school systems out there, but none seemed to match up with ACKS, so he took it upon himself to work up one that fell more inline with ACKS classes.